Pain in One Wrist When Benching

i’ve been working out pretty regularly for a few years now. i’m not exceptionally strong or big, but i’ve definitely made progress from where i was when i started. i’ve never had significant problems or pain while benching until recently.

i did the 40 day program that was featured in a T-Nation article a month or two back. before that, i could still bench no problem. during the 40 day program, i did dumbbell presses instead of standard bench pressing. then, when i went back to regular bench pressing, i had significant pain in my left wrist.

it only really hurts near lockout, and it bothers me enough that i find myself cutting my sets short and not pressing all the way to lockout in order to avoid the pain. i’m not blaming the 40 day program, i just think it’s weird that the wrist pain appeared so suddenly.

so far, the only solution i can think of is avoiding the barbell bench press and using dumbbells. i’m fine with that, but i’d like to be able to do barbell benches sometimes, at least. oh, and i tried using a narrower grip. that helped, but only a tiny bit. i don’t know if this matters, but i’m pretty tall (6’5) and i have long arms.

i’m wondering if anybody has had similar experiences and/or advice. i did some searching on this site and saw several people mention wrist wraps, but their wrist pain circumstances were all pretty different than mine.

  1. Wrist-wraps

  2. Sure your wrists aren’t bent backwards too much during the lift? Don’t let the bar sit high in your hands/fists.

  3. Any trouble at all during your DB work on the 40 day program? DB’s are more difficult to handle than a barbell, maybe you bent your wrists in a funny way on accident?

  4. Other exercises… You can tweak your wrists easily with the rope handle on many cable exercises, for example.

Perhaps contact bushidobadboy, Sentoguy or some of the other guys who are knowledgeable when it comes to this kind of stuff and describe exactly where it hurts, when, etc.

i don’t recall any trouble with the dumbbells, and i hadn’t used ropes or pulleys in a while. but i suppose there are all sorts of ways i could have hurt my wrist. it’s strange though, it really only bothers me when pressing with a barbell during the last few inches of the movement when my wrists kind of slant inward. that’s why narrowing my grip helped a little; there was less of that inward slant. but i didn’t want to narrow my grip too much and make the exercise cease to be effective for chest development.

It’s probably the angle of your wrist on a bench vs with dumbbells
Wrist wraps could surely help.
You could also try benching with a fat bar because that spread the pressure on your wrist. Assuming you don’t have access to that buy some Fat Gripz. Look it up on this forum.

For the time being you can bench without locking out. Lots of bodybuilder use that way of benching and it puts even more stress on your pecs when you stay in the lower portion of the lift. Believe you WILL feel it!

What kind of weight are you using when the pain occurs, or do you also feel it on the light warm-up sets? If you have not seen it already check out Dave Tate’s video on this site for bench press.